Editor's note: In honor of the university's centennial year, The Daily News is counting down 100 days to the university's celebration Sept. 6 with 100 of Ball State's most famous traditions and figures. Check back each day to read about Cardinal history.
Before playing college basketball at Ball State and eventually moving on to the NBA, Bonzi Wells played for Muncie Central High School.
Muncie Central made it to the regional tournament championships during Wells’ time on the team, and in his senior year Wells averaged 23.7 points per game, according to an article published in the June 20, 1994, issue of The Daily News.
While at Ball State, the forward was named Freshman of the Year and received MAC Player of the Year in the 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons. He also set many records including 347 career steals.
With a one-handed dunk, Wells broke former Chicago Bulls player Ron Harper’s Mid-American Conference scoring record in 1998.
"I thought I was going to be more relaxed than what I was, but I guess I was kind of pressing today," Wells said in a previous Daily News article published in the February 23, 1998, issue after breaking the record. "I missed a few shots, but I'm glad it's over with. I can just play, and not have to worry about all the hype about breaking the record. It's just over, and we can move on."
During a time out immediately after making the basket, Wells was awarded the game ball by then-president John Worthen, according The Daily News article.
Wells graduated from Ball State in 1998, completing his career as the Mid-American Conference’s all-time leader in points (2,485) and steals, and was selected as the 11th pick in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons.
Throughout his 11-year career in the NBA, he played on teams including the Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets.
In 2011, Ball State inducted the four-year letterwinner into its Hall of Fame
Now, Wells plays for Tri State, a team that is part of a three-on-three professional basketball league composed of Hall of Famers and World Champions called BIG3.
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